Mindy Flexer

Contact Information

maflexer@gmail.com

Phone: (215) 991-5817

http://www.mindyflexer.com/

Studio

5225 Greene Street Unit 9 Philadelphia PA, 19144

Mindy Flexer Art School:
www.mindyflexerart.com

Paintings

Archived Works

Artist's Biography

Mindy Flexer is a professional realist painter, teaching artist, and climate activist. Her live-work loft houses Mindy Flexer Art School, her own painting studio, and a hub for climate justice art builds and other community art projects. She loves sharing her passion for art with people of all ages and walks of life, and believes in the power of art to unite and transform people and communities. She is committed to being one of Germantown’s neighborhood artists, someone artists of every age can always return to for comradeship, encouragement, hope, and inspiration.

Mindy holds a BA from Oberlin College, a BFA from The University of the Arts, and an M.Ed. in Art Education from Tyler School of Art. She has studied extensively at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Mindy has exhibited her work at venues that include Woodmere Art Museum, Cerulean Arts, Art in City Hall, Artists' House Gallery, and national painting festivals in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She has collaborated on climate activism projects with Earth Quaker Action Team, Sustaining All Life, Sunrise Movement, John B. Kelly School, and Coleman Library. She is grateful to be part of the long tradition of artists teaching other artists, as they work together to create a just world.

Artist's Statement

I've discovered three things that always seem to be true. One is mystery: the world is unknowable. One is impermanence: everything is always changing. One is unity: every single thing is always related to every single other thing. Chasing these three truths has carried me from traditional realist painting to a magical realism that is grounded in both observation and invention. My paintings are about how our world is as much as how it looks.

I began working out my current form language to honor impermanence at a time when I was meeting new babies on the first days of their lives, and seeing beloved comrades on the last days of theirs. At first, ancestors standing on the shore watched their descendants travel by boat into the future, but I put all the figures in boats when I realized there is no shore: all ancestors are descendants, who are ancestors. Finally, I released the figures from gravity to join the transcendent origami cranes that used to fly above them, in a joyful, ordered, chaos.

I had thought of impermanence as part of an unchanging cycle of lives arising and disappearing, but I realized that though impermanence is constant, the world is not. Each generation is born into a different set of causes and conditions, and each person makes the world anew. I, too, remake the world, with the fundamental questions: Who am I? How can I find belonging, freedom, and meaning?

Each generation of my family answered with its own organizing principle: G-d for my great-grandparents, security for my grandparents, intellectual pursuit for my parents. Now it's my turn, and for me, it is painting. I explore this arc in paintings that use images of my family, along with their avatars: humble crows, pigeons, and doves. Each painting's shape architecture explains the old stories once again, another discovery of the harmony and discord of my family's shape music.

Now I realize that "Who am I?" includes "What is my moment?" The arc of my family resides within the greater arc of time. WWII shaped my grandparents, and the seeming bubble of security after the war shaped my parents. My life has been, and continues to be, shaped by both the ill-gotten gains of this bubble and its shadow, the double threat of nuclear destruction and climate crisis. At the same time, my moment offers the possibility of global transformation to a just and equitable world.

My current body of work engages these twin possibilities. I am making paintings with imagery of earth, air, water, and fire, with figures and whooping cranes falling and flying. Whooping cranes are a species humans have both endangered and rescued: they show our power to harm and to heal both ourselves and the world around us. All of our fates are truly tied together.

My visual language of a seamless world of elements, people, animals, and place, is the language of this interconnection. Like our world, every painting is a web of nesting, interlocking relationships, a unity in which nothing can be added or removed without changing everything. Climate crisis is the ultimate illustration of the powerful truth that we are all in it together--and that we includes not just humanity, but every living thing on earth.

Our culture's denial of our interconnection with all life has resulted in the destruction of our planet. At the same time, realizing and acting on the truth of our interconnection gives us the opportunity to save our world. My job as a painter is to create paintings that speak about this existential dilemma in a language personal enough for people to hear it. My job as an art worker is to use these paintings to inspire people to action. It is to connect people to themselves and each other, so each person can find their place in the mass movement necessary to create a sustainable future. In this way, it is my hope and intention that my paintings will become part of the great web of healing I deeply believe can save our planet.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo
2018
Philadelphia Paintings, Everyone At the Table Cafe, Philadelphia, PA

2015
Away From/Home, High Point Cafe, Philadelphia, PA

2011
Life As, The Sedgwick Theater, Philadelphia, PA

2007
Philadelphia Paintings, High Point Cafe, Philadelphia, PA

Group
2020
New Now III, InLiquid Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2019
Art in City Hall: Visual Democracy, City Hall, Philadelphia, PA
Juror: Gaby Heit

Cerulean Arts' 7th Annual Juried Exhibition, Cerulean Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Juror: Jane Irish

Cerulean Arts Collective Members' Exhibitions, Cerulean Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

2018
Let's Connect: Philly's Artists Take on the Barnes, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

Dear Fleisher, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

2016
Outdoor Creations Plein Air Art Show, Boulder County Parks and Open Space Foundation, Longmont, CO
Juried Exhibition

Dear Fleisher, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

2014
On the Edge: Seeing With New Eyes, Artists' House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

On the Table: The Art of Still Life, Artists' House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

2013
Views of Philadelphia, Artists' House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

New Faces, Artists' House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

2012
The Eviction Proof Peep Show Home, Live Arts Festival, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Vashti Dubois

Dear Fleisher, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

2011
Art in City Hall: My Home Is In My Heart, show of BuildaBridge teaching artists and student, Philadelphia, PA

2010
Art in the Open, juried plein air festival and exhibition, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Dear Fleisher, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

2008
Paint Annapolis, juried plein air festival and exhibition, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, MD

Plein Air Easton, juried plein air festival and exhibition, Academy Art Museum, Easton, MD

Paint Snow Hill, juried plein air festival and exhibition, Bishop's Stock Fine Art, Snow Hill, MD

2007
Wayne Plein Air Festival, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Juried Exhibition

Around Town, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Juried Exhibition

2006
From the Studio IV, Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

2005
The Garden is Art, Art of the Garden, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

74th Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Annual, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA
Juried Exhibition

Betsy Meyer Memorial Exhibition, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Juried Exhibition

2003
Art at the Plant, J.B. Kelly Foundry, Philadelphia, PA

2002
Teachers as Artists, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

Other
2003 - 2018
Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, Philadelphia, PA

Climate Justice Activism

2020
Curator, Water, Water, Everywhere!, student show of artwork about climate justice, Coleman Northwest Regional Library, Philadelphia, PA

2019
Curator, Blooming and Thriving, student show of artwork about climate justice, Coleman Northwest Regional Library, Philadelphia, PA

Curator, Looking at Climate: Monsters and Heroes, student show of artwork about climate justice, Coleman Northwest Regional Library, Philadelphia, PA

2018 - Present
Art Build co-organizer and collaborator, Earth Quaker Action Team, Philadelphia, PA

Art Build co-organizer and collaborator, Sunrise Movement Northwest Hub, Philadelphia, PA

2017 - Present
Art Build co-organizer and collaborator, Sustaining All Life, Philadelphia, PA

Professional Experience

Selected Art Teaching, Freelance
2007 - present
Mindy Flexer School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Teaching Artist

2019
John B. Kelly School, Philadelphia, PA
Teaching Artist through a Picasso Project Grant

Simon Gratz High School Internship Program, Philadelphia, PA
Mentor

2016
Frasier Retirement Community, Boulder, Co
Artist-in-Residence

2007 - 2009
BuildaBridge International at Women Against Abuse, Philadelphia, PA
Teaching Artist

Teacher Training Institute for the Arts, Settlement Music School, Philadelphia, PA
Teaching Artist

2007
Leah Stein Dance Company, Philadelphia, PA
Director of Education

Fleisher Art Memorial Community Partnerships in the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Teaching Artist

Masterman High School at a project at Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA
Teaching Artist

Selected Art Teaching, Public and Private School
2011 - 2014
The Bridge Way School, a recovery high school, Philadelphia, PA
Art Teacher

2005 - 2006
Charter High School for Architecture and Design, Philadelphia, PA
Design Teacher

1996 - 2004
Greene Street Friends School, Philadelphia, PA
Art Teacher

Affiliations

2019 - Present
InLiquid, Philadelphia, PA
Artist Member

2002 - Present
Greene Street Artists Cooperative, Philadelphia, PA
Member

2019 - 2020
Cerulean Arts Collective, Philadelphia, PA
Associate Member

2018 - 2019
Mary Williams Fine Arts, Boulder, CO

2013 - 2014
Artists' House Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2007
Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME
Artist in Residence

Education

2001
Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
M.Ed. and Teaching Certification in Art Education

1998 - 2002, 2004-05, 2009, 2013
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Continuing Education

1989
The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
B.F.A. in Ceramics

1984 - 1985
Watson Fellow in Ceramics, Japan

1984
Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
B.A. in Music